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Spring 2008 3-3-3
Instructors: Drew Endy and Natalie Kuldell

  • Lecture: T/R 11:30-1 (26-152)
  • Studio: W 2-5 (26-152)

Welcome to 20.020! A project-based introduction to the engineering of synthetic biological systems. In this subject, you will have an opportunity to develop projects that are responsive to real-world problems, using solutions that depend on biological technologies. Through interactive lectures and studio time, you will be introduced to

  • (1) components and control of cellular behavior, in particular energy, modularity and heredity through time and space
  • (2) DNA synthesis, standards, and abstraction in biological engineering
  • (3) issues of human practice, including (a) biological safety, (b)security, (c) ownership, sharing, & innovation, and (d) ethics
    We hope this subject will provide an engaging introduction for would-be biological engineers as well as a foundational framework for anyone interested in the responsible and reliable programming of genetic material.

Throughout the term we use challenges and puzzles to ask

  1. How can biology be made easier to engineer?
  2. What are the consequences of success?
  3. What clever ways has nature found to solve physical challenges?
  4. In what ways does nature innovate?

Your answers to these questions will provide useful tools, strategies and vocabulary to engineer your synthetic biological system

Homework dropbox for 20.020 can be found here
Homework dropbox for 20.902/947 can be found here


  • You can find old announcements here